What are the benefits of green tea in soaps? Let's dive into the history of tea and where it came from, then we will understand why it's been used for centuries, and why it's so beneficial to you when you use it in skincare too.
When those of us in the Western world hear the word Tea, we tend to think of herbal teas. While this thought isn’t entirely inaccurate, most herbal teas don’t actually contain any leaves from a real tea plant.
All authentic tea leaves come from the Camellia Sinensis (Ca·meel·ya Sin·en·sis) plant, an evergreen shrub native to China and East Asia, where it has been used for both medicinal and recreational purposes for over 2,000 years. Popularized as a medicinal herb for use in Chinese herbology, fresh tea leaves were initially chewed raw for their refreshing and invigorating effects before it was discovered that the leaves could be brewed in water to make a drink.
In general, there are at least six different types of tea that are produced from the Camellia Sinensis plant: Green, Yellow, White, Oolong, Black, and Aged. These teas are typically categorized by how they are processed. Depending on the tea, there can be many steps associated with its processing. These steps are:
The green tea variation that we’re focusing on today differs from other teas in a few key ways. First, green tea spends the least amount of time in decomposing phases since the leaves are steamed almost immediately after harvesting. If this steaming is done correctly, the green tea leaves retain much of the natural beneficial chemical compounds found in fresh Camellia Sinensis leaves.
These compounds are what provide the benefits we seek. Our primary target being Catechins (Ca·te·kins). Catechins are antioxidants that fight and protect against cell damage, specifically damage caused by materials like free radicals in our atmosphere. These materials can affect the collagen in our skin, breaking it down and producing many undesirable outcomes like blemishes and skin spots.
Since green tea experiences little processing, it's rich in catechins, six different types of catechins actually, with Epigallocatechin Gallate (Epi·gallo·ca·te·kin Gall·ate) (EGCG) & Epicatechin Gallate (Epi·ca·te·kin Gall·ate) (ECG) being the most prominent. According to recent studies, the antioxidant properties of Catechins can help repair DNA damage caused by free radicals and ultraviolet (UV) radiation. The repaired DNA is then able to reinforce dying skin cells to better protect against more serious conditions like skin cancer. The healthier skin is, the more resistant to signs of aging it becomes.
Green Tea also contains healthy amounts of both Vitamin E and Vitamin B2, both essential for maintaining healthy skin. Vitamin E plays a major part in rehydrating and rebalancing skin, in addition to supporting the growth of new skin cells. While Vitamin B2 has been shown to play a critical role in maintaining collagen levels resulting in better structured, more resilient skin.
Our skin is amazing, and performs a multitude of critical functions that we’ll be explaining in more detail in the coming weeks. Unfortunately many of the skin products on the market today don’t actually repair skin cells and are therefore ineffective in promoting healthy, resilient, beautiful skin.
We’re changing that.
By adding additional natural ingredients into our already amazing goat milk soaps, it’s our goal to provide our community with the tools and knowledge necessary to treat our skin like the prize it truly is.
Shop our Green Tea Goat Milk Soap here!
In the meantime, we’re proud to announce that we’re now incorporating green tea into our goat milk soap recipes. We also have plenty of super informative content heading your way soon so be sure to sign up for our email lists to be the first to know when we’ve got something new!
-By Andrew Baker
Eden Body Team